Interpersonal and social rhythym therapy (ISRT) is a treatment for bipolar disorder which aims to help patients maintain a consistent sleep schedule and waking-up time. People with bipolar disorder tend to have extremely sensitive body clocks which makes it much more difficult for them to recover from disruptions in sleep and routine. These can lead to night-time sleepiness and daytime exhaustion which can increase the risk of new episodes of mania and depression. ISRT involves patients working with a therapist and using a self-monitoring instrument to record and monitor the regularity of their daily routines. A study of 175 patients by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh compared the effectiveness of ISRT and conventional treatment focusing on patients' mood symptoms and the management of medication side effects (both groups took lithium carbonate). The study found that patients who participated in ISRT were able to go longer without a new episode of mania or depression than those who received clinical management.
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